Dortmund: Dinara Wagner sole leader at Sportland NRW Cup

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/26/2023 – Dinara Wagner became the first sole leader at the Sportland NRW Cup in Dortmund, as she is the only player to have started the tournament with two wins in a row. Wagner beat Alexander Bagrationi with black on Sunday. Meanwhile, in the A-Open, the top three seeds — Matthias Bluebaum, Alexander Donchenko (pictured) and Michael Adams — also kicked off the event with 2 out of 2. The No-Castling Masters, with Vladimir Kramnik and Fabiano Caruana, starts on Monday.

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A second win for Dinara

A sole leader emerged after two rounds at the Sportland NRW Cup. Dinara Wagner beat Israeli GM Alexander Bagrationi with black to become the only player who kicked off the 10-player event with back-to-back wins.

Bagrationi’s 56.Qc2 was the decisive mistake.

Keeping the queen on the f-file while creating threats of a perpetual check with 56.Qf5+ was the way to go in this position. Instead, after the text move, Wagner immediately grabbed the initiative with 56...Qf7+ 57.Ke1 Qf3.

Bagrationi realized that there was no way to save the game after allowing the infiltration of the black queen and resigned the game after playing 58.c6.

The other decisive game of the day in the single round-robin saw top seed Karthik Venkataram bouncing back from his round-1 loss by inflicting a second defeat on Arthur De Winter.

The atmosphere in the playing hall

Standings - Round 2

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Wagner, Dinara 2 2
2 Souleidis, Georgios 1,5 1
3 Köllner, Ruben Gideon 1,5 1
4 Besou, Hussain 1,5 1
Petrovskiy, Vadim 1,5 1
6 Karthik Venkataraman, 1 1
7 Schneider, Jana 0,5 0
Saltaev, Mihail 0,5 0
9 De Winter, Arthur 0 0
Bagrationi, Alexander 0 0

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Donchenko in good shape

In the A-Open, the top three seeds kicked off the event with consecutive wins, as Matthias Bluebaum, Alexander Donchenko and Michael Adams all belong to the 35-player pack sharing first place with 2 out of 2.

Donchenko got to play a nice combination against Adelard Bai on Sunday.

15.Nxf7, with a discovered attack against the rook on b8, gives White an edge in all the ensuing forcing lines. The game lasted 27 moves, as Donchenko was merciless in converting his advantage. The German grandmaster later shared his thoughts on the game with press officer Patrick Zelbel (in German).

Results - Round 2

Name Pts. Result Pts. Name
Parvanyan,Ashot, 1 0 - 1 1 Blübaum,Matthias,
Donchenko,Alexander, 1 1 - 0 1 Bai,Adelard,
Meins,Gerlef, 1 0 - 1 1 Adams,Michael,
Ponomariov,Ruslan, 1 ½ - ½ 1 Harikrishnan.A.Ra,
Aryan Chopra, 1 1 - 0 1 Colpe,Malte,
Akesson,Ralf, 1 ½ - ½ 1 Svane,Rasmus,
Mendonca,Leon Luke, 1 1 - 0 1 Garner,Isaac,
Souhardo Basak, 1 0 - 1 1 Svane,Frederik,
Niedbala,Bartlomiej, 1 ½ - ½ 1 Safarli,Eltaj,
Prohaszka,Peter, 1 1 - 0 1 Niermann,Tristan,

Pairings - Round 3

Name Pts. Result Pts. Name
Blübaum,Matthias, 2 2 Raja Rithvik R,
Dudin,Gleb, 2 2 Donchenko,Alexander,
Adams,Michael, 2 2 Janzelj,Tim,
Feuerstack,Aljoscha, 2 2 Aryan Chopra,
Willow,Jonah B, 2 2 Mendonca,Leon Luke,
Svane,Frederik, 2 2 Buckels,Valentin,
Guo,Arthur, 2 2 Prohaszka,Peter,
Laurent-Paoli,Pierre, 2 2 Muthaiah AL,
Kobo,Ori, 2 2 Wadsworth,Matthew J,
Pranav Anand, 2 2 Dolzhykova,Kateryna,

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.